Each week, Female CoFounder features a female founder in the community. Follow along each week and learn from different founders and their journeys.
FcF: Tell us about yourself?
Samantha: Hi, I am Samantha from Singapore. I am a Career Success Coach and an Entrepreneur. Currently, I am spearheading Project Jobless targeted to inform and empower individuals to lead happier and fulfilled lives through strategic career charting. The people I work with closely on a daily basis including entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals and workers.
I have always been in the Education scene: Founded an academic coaching centre in Singapore, an Experiential Learning Academy in China, co-founded a Financial Education business with footprints in Southeast Asia, and lastly, I spearheaded the Business Development unit for an EdTech start-up in Singapore and we are now in the Philippines too.
FcF: What is Project Jobless?
Samantha: Project Jobless is a social movement with the mission to impact one million lives. Through Project Jobless, we want to equip individuals with the strategies that can help them to navigate in the post-pandemic world with clarity and power.
When it comes to career charting, it is applicable to everyone. Even as an entrepreneur, you need to chart your own careers if you want to position your business for success.
FcF: How did you come up with Project Jobless?
Samantha: I have been doing this for the past decade, however, this entire idea was formulated in Q4 2020. The first public launch was in April 2021 after 6 months of preparation. My first-hand experience with business owners and workers allows me to have a bird-eye view of the entire situation. Businesses failed because they were not able to pivot fast enough and cash flow became the largest challenge. As a result of the collapse of many businesses, it left many workers jobless. This is a global phenomenon and job crisis will be a global challenge in upcoming years.
FcF: What were the first 3 steps you took after you knew you wanted to pursue building Project Jobless?
1) Identifying the business model
2) Put together a team (resource-pooling)
3) Market Research
FcF: You mentioned identifying the business model, what does that include?
Samantha: It includes-
1) Thorough understanding of the problem statement and how to position the service/product as the solution to the problem (USP)
2) Identifying the target audience
3) Monetization plan
4) Future roll-out plans when the business grows
5) To raise funds for business operations or bootstrapped
FcF: People have been talking about raising funds, and there are many ways that people are doing so; what is your opinion on that and what is your preference?
Samantha: Yes especially in recent years, fundraising has been made popular as one of the ways for founders to start up, there are even shows for founders to pitch their ideas to get investments.
There is no right or wrong to this approach, it all boils down to:
1) At what stage is the business
2) How the founders want to grow their business with the injected capital
3) What is the business model
When founders get investors especially for an early-stage start-up, it is extremely important to be clear on the terms, such as the exit plan, the buy-out plan, when are the next few rounds of fundraising etc. Be mindful that if the investors have more say in the business very early in the start-up, there is a high possibility that founders will lose their control over the direction of the business, after all, investors and founders may have very different agenda in the business. Hence, founders need to be absolutely clear on what they want to achieve if they ask for investments, founders will also need to know how they are going to use these investments that ideally generate greater returns for the business.
Another factor is also the type of service/ product that the new business is offering. For instance, Kickstarter is a great way to raise funds if you have a ready product (concept) that is market-ready the moment the product is developed.
In my personal opinion, I will do resource pooling first before asking for external funds. Followed by, focusing on my monetization plan. At the end of the day, the most ideal situation that I will always work towards is to make sure that the company can be self-sustaining right from the start. In later stages, if there is a need to raise funds, the valuation will be justified when the traction is validated. As founders, most of us do not want to lose control too early in the game.
FcF: What do you look for in finding your co-founders?
Samantha: I look for
- Skills/resources that will complement the entire team.
- Values and vision for the business are also critical in my selection.
- Lastly, the ability to talk about difficult topics openly and objectively.
FcF: What advice do you have for other women who have a start-up idea or side project idea?
Samantha: AWESOME!! GO get it, girl!!
That being said, there are also things you need to consider before diving in, you also need to be on a constant review so that your business stay competitive and relevant. Most importantly, do not let emotions get the better of you. Many of us have beautiful, great, world-changing ideas, however, it is also equally important to grounded and realistic with what the world actually needs. Most of the time, numbers do not lie. There is a difference between a hobby and profitable business.
FcF: How can the female cofounder community help you?
Samantha: Join me in my mission to impact one million lives by sharing about this movement
FcF: How can people contact you?
Samantha: Contact with me on LinkedIn; you can also follow me on various social media platforms. My link: linktr.ee/samanthang
You can also DM @Samantha Ng in our Slack channel!
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